What’s the rush? | AspenTimes.com

What’s the rush?

Dear Editor:

What seems to be the urgency with the Aspen Art Museum’s expansion? I see no immediate attack on the Aspen art society by the unsophisticated, illiterate masses. What’s the rush? Are there barbarians at the gate? Or could it possibly be that the sophisticates in that rarefied world of the arts see an opportunity to grab more of the type of property that they already own, at a bargain basement price?

If the AAM is so hell bent on protecting or advancing the need for art space then why doesn’t the city drive a hard bargain and lease the property to them? If our local culture is in such a state of disrepair then let them build their $25 million bastion to the arts but not own it. If their need is so great let them lease the site ” build their tower of Babel and then charge them rent.

If indeed the AAM trustees truly need this edifice, and the international prestige they seem to so desperately crave, then they can renew their lease, in say 15 years, if they’re still so inclined. If not, the city can reacquire the building at a depreciated price and we can still have the property for future needs.

Why would the city of Aspen hand over a centrally located piece of land in the very bosom of our city government’s property? Local needs outweigh those of an elitist few so why should we, as an electorate, be giving away an important city asset which will eventually, inevitably fall into the free market. It’s something which we’ve all witnessed before. As the old saying goes: Fool me once …

Paul Harris


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